I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, jump rope is the #1 best form of overall conditioning – it gets the heart jumping and abs shredded. If you haven’t checked out my first jump rope tutorial, which teaches you all the basics techniques, click here to watch and learn the basics. For those of you who already have the basics down, let’s take things to the next level with some double unders.
Double unders, or dubs, is a single jump with the rope crossing under your body twice.
LET’S BREAK THE JUMP DOWN:
The double under jump requires the same form as a single under jump, but you just need to jump higher. You need to find the right amount of height to allow the rope to go under twice.
In order to get that rope under you twice, you really need to turn the rope faster. Everyone is different so you need to find your own rhythm and style. The best way to do this is to play around and have fun. If you get too serious you’ll get frustrated and want to give up.
A good way to start doing double unders is by doing three single unders followed by a double under. When that becomes easy, do two single unders followed by a double under. And then one single one double until you can successfully do several double unders in row.
The key is getting the coordination and timing down. Your jump height and rope turn is a repetitive movement and your form should stay consistent throughout. Just keep practicing so you can build up your muscle memory, and you’ll start to do these effortlessly.
This may or may not be challenging for you at first, but regardless of your level, I often see bad habits develop with jumpers. Here are some things you want to avoid.
PROBLEM 1 – WINDMILL ARMS
The #1 problem I see when people start doing double unders is they try to make their arms look like giant windmills. Remember these two key words: wrist activation. Watch my wrist in the video demonstration and notice the wrist are where ALL the movement comes from.
PROBLEM 2 – JUMPING TOO HIGH
Another issue is jumping higher than you need. To avoid this, start by getting a good feel for what it takes to swing the rope twice under you.
PROBLEM 3 – FATIGUE
Dubs can get tiring, and fatigue can set in. When this happens people often lose form and change the position of their arms. If your hands are too tight against your body, it creates a narrow rope shape. If the hands go too wide, the rope shortens. The ideal is a happy medium. Find your best position and maintain that even when shoulder fatigue sets in.
PROBLEM 4 – TIMING
Timing is key. Most people jump when they first see the rope which is too soon. The best time to jump is right after the rope passes below the knee.
PROBLEM 5 – THE PENGUIN
Lastly, and I was guilty of this when I was learning, don’t flail your body around like a penguin. Keep your body tall and straight and try to stay in one spot. Even choosing a location to keep your eyes focused on can help.
This may all seem a bit overwhelming but I promise, with time and practice, you will get it. Start by just trying it. Then, if you aren’t getting it, step back and evaluate what’s happening. Maybe your arms are widening or maybe you are jumping too high. Breaking down the mechanics and making tweaks can help correct any issues you may be having. I still do this when I’m learning any new trick.